It’s Christmastime again with Joe and Nick's Family.
Only this year, Savannah isn’t their parent’s favorite person.
“The easiest period in a crisis situation is actually the battle itself.
The most difficult is the period of indecision – whether to fight or run away.
And the most dangerous period is the aftermath.”
Sequel to Naughty & Nice
Jonas Brothers > Family, Jonas Brothers > Drama, Jonas Brothers > Romance Characters:
Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, O/c Character
The Naughty & Nice Series
This is the sequel for Naughty & Nice. Please read that story first or this one won't make much sense. Thanks!
1. One by lisavslisa
2. Two by lisavslisa
3. Three by lisavslisa
4. Four by lisavslisa
5. Five by lisavslisa
6. Six by lisavslisa
7. Seven by lisavslisa
“Can I give you your Christmas present early?” Joe asked Savannah the night before they were to leave for New Jersey to see his family for the Holiday’s.
“What? It’s not Christmas though,” Savannah said, smirking playfully at him.
“It’s too big to fit on the airplane,” he told her, smirking right back.
“So it’s not jewelry?” She said wryly, quirking an eyebrow at him.
“No, it’s not jewelry and it won’t fit in a suitcase,” he scoffed at her as his cheeks turned slightly pink.
“You know, this goes completely against the traditions of Christmas—”
“Sahhh-van-nahhh,” Joe whined, which made her instantly giggle.
“I’m just kidding, baby. Sure. If you need to give me my present now, I’m not going to stop you,” she laughed, feeling rather excited. Christmas early? Yes, please.
“Good. Come on,” Joe said, jumping off the couch, grabbing her hand to help her up.
“Baby!” Savannah shrieked and giggled as Joe quickly pulled her toward her apartment door.
“Where are we going?” She asked him as they moved toward the elevators out in the hallway.
“It’s in my car. I couldn’t just bring it in, obviously,” he said, smirking at her devilishly.
“Oh. Ha. Right,” she giggled.
Joe walked Savannah out to the parking lot, but she couldn’t see his black Range Rover anywhere, which had her confused.
“Baby, did someone steal your car?” She asked him, her eyebrows knit with confusion.
“No. But this one’s yours,” he said, smirking widely as they stopped in front of a car in the parking lot.
“What—” She choked out looking at the car in front of them.
“Merry Christmas, Van,” he said, smiling from ear-to- ear.
“Joe—what?” She asked, looking at him wide-eyed.
“You don’t have a car. You’ve never had a car. Well, here’s your car, babe,” he told her, before giving her a kiss on the cheek.
Savannah was standing in front of a white Audi Q7 SUV and it was one hell of a vehicle.
“Joe! This is a fifty-thousand dollar car!” She shrieked.
“Seventy, but who’s counting,” he said with a shrug.
“Joe!” She yelped.
“Savannah!” He mimicked.
“I can’t—Joe, ohmygod,” she said, gaping at the beautiful piece of fine machinery.
“You can. Here,” he said, putting the key in the palm of her hand.
“Ohmygod. I don’t even know what to say,” she yelped, throwing her arms around Joe.
“You don’t have to say anything, babe. Merry Christmas,” he said with a pleased chuckle.
“Thank you so much,” she said as she pulled back, grabbing his face in her hands before leaving a chaste kiss on his lips.
“My gift to you will never compare to this,” she told him with a huff.
“Don’t, Van. Don’t do that. I know I am going to love whatever you give me. It’s not about the biggest or the most expensive, okay. It’s about the love we share. I got this for you because you’ve never had one and I wanted to do that for you,” he told her seriously. She nodded, swallowing back her pride.
“I love you, Savannah Lynn,” he said, kissing her lips.
“I love you so much,” she said, meaning it whole-heartedly.
Savannah was extremely nervous as she sat next to her boyfriend of nine months on the airplane headed to Wyckoff, New Jersey to celebrate Christmas with his family. Joe invited her along as to a) include her in his life, like any loving boyfriend would; and to b) not be alone when he faced his family for the first time in over a year, since Nick and Savannah broke up and he started dating her.
Savannah hadn’t spoken or seen Nick in months. They weren’t friends, they weren’t close anymore and she could accredit most of it to her now steady relationship with his older brother. Oh, yeah… and maybe also the fact that he was now engaged to his mistress who just so happened to have recently given birth to their love child. She was not looking forward to seeing the two of them or their bastard child.
Joe and Savannah spent the last nine months laying low, keeping out of the public eye. Even though the Jonas Brothers kind of fell out of the spotlight over the years, there still was an all-out scandal over the fact that not only was Nick Jonas a cheater and got his mistress pregnant, but his brother and ex-band mate Joe was also sleeping with his girlfriend. And the fact that Joe and Savannah stayed together only fueled the media’s bloodlust.
As Savannah held onto Joe’s hand on the airplane, it just amazed her how she could be in the exact same position she was a year ago, but it was entirely different at the same time. Last year, it was Nick’s hand she was holding on the airplane to New Jersey. It was with Nick that she faced his parents for the first time, hoping they would approve of her. This year, it was Joe’s hand she was holding. And it would be with Joe that she would face his parents for the first time since their affair, hoping they would approve of their relationship.
As their plane touched down at the airport the lump in Savannah’s throat grew tenfold and the ache in her stomach was something she knew wasn’t going to let up the entire time she and Joe were with his family.
Let the quagmire ensue.
Standing outside of the Jonas house in Wyckoff, hand-in-hand with Joe – their luggage in tow, Savannah wanted to turn and run as fast as she could. She eyed Joe with a look of pure terror as he reached for the doorbell, taking a deep breath.
“We’re in this together, Savannah,” he assured her. She could only look up into his eyes and nod, hoping his words were true.
With that he plunged his finger into the doorbell and pulled back. She didn’t even realize she was holding her breath until she forcefully let it out as the door swung open, revealing none other than Josh Miller, Joe’s uncle.
“Savannah! Joe!” He said happily to the two of them.
“Joshy,” Joe said fondly as he leaned in, hugging him tightly.
“Hello, beautiful,” Josh said, turning his embrace on Savannah. She met Josh last Christmas, but he also flew out to California a few months back and they’d spent some time with him. He was so cool and funny and so down to earth.
“Hi, Josh,” Savannah said, feeling elated that he was there.
“I didn’t know you’d be here,” Josh said, smiling widely at Savannah.
“I’m here,” Savannah said apprehensively.
“Are you nervous? I mean, since you haven’t been around the family since last Christmas,” Josh asked her, making a frightened face.
“More than you know,” Savannah told him.
“It will be okay,” he told her.
“It will be okay, Van,” Joe reassured her, but she wasn’t so sure.
As Joe and Savannah entered the sprawling foyer of Kevin Sr and Denise’s house, they could hear scattered talking and laughter coming from the direction of the kitchen. Savannah’s nerves were shot to shit as Josh walked back into the kitchen, announcing their arrival to the family.
“Joe and Savannah are here,” Josh told them, loud enough for them to hear from the foyer.
“Joe and Savannah? What?” They heard Kevin ask, sounding a bit confused.
Within seconds, Kevin came meandering down the hallway to greet the two of them. Savannah was hidden well behind the staircase as she removed her shoes. And she was scared to show her face to anyone, even Kevin, who was a friend to her when she was dating Nick. She didn’t know where she would stand with him now.
“Joe! My brother! Long time, no see,” Kevin greeted him, hugging Joe to his chest quickly before releasing him.
“Good to see you, mate,” Joe told Kevin with a wide smile. Savannah could tell they truly missed each other. Joe always talked about Kevin fondly and it made Savannah sad to be part of the reason why they hadn’t seen each other in so long.
“So, Savannah? You brought Savannah? Am I missing something?” Kevin curiously asked, quirking his eyebrow. Savannah’s stomach dropped. Did Kevin not know about them? She was certain that Nick would have told them all by now.
Savannah emerged from behind the banister, being witness to the curious look that Kevin was sending Joe’s way.
“Savannah! Hi,” Kevin greeted as she came into view.
“Hi, Kevin. It’s good to see you,” she said as he pulled her in for a hug.
“Uh, I’m a bit confused. I thought you and Nick broke up,” Kevin asked, looking more than a little baffled as his eyes darted back and forth between the two of them. Savannah looked at Joe, who was wearing an awkward goofy grin on his face.
“Uh. We kind of… got together,” Joe said, shrugging his shoulders.
“Oh, wow,” Kevin said, looking between the two of them.
“Nick never told you?” Joe asked him.
“All I heard was he and Savannah broke up. Honestly, that was the last I heard about Savannah,” Kevin said, giving her a sympathetic look.
“Glad to see you again, hun,” Kevin told her.
“Thank you. You too,” she said, smiling genuinely at him. Kevin was a really great guy.
“So, how long have you two been together then?” Kevin asked, giving them both a smile.
“Nine months,” Joe said, taking her hand in his as she stood silently by his side.
“Nine Months?” Kevin asked, astonished, his mouth dropping open slightly. They nodded, both of them letting out a strained chuckle at his reaction.
“Nine months? Wow. Why didn’t you guys let anyone know?” Kevin asked curiously, looking almost hurt that he and Joe had drifted so far apart in the past year.
“Let anyone know what?” They heard as Joe’s father Kevin Sr emerged from the kitchen.
Savannah’s heart accelerated, but also felt like it stopped all at the same time. She was petrified. She tried to tug her hand out of Joe’s just to lessen the tension she was feeling, but Joe gripped her hand with an iron fist, refusing to let her take the easy way out.
“Joe! We’ve missed you so!” Denise cooed as she came barreling toward her son, grabbing him in a hug and planting many wet kisses all over his face. It was only then, in the throes of Hurricane Denise, that he dropped Savannah’s hand.
“Hi, Mom,” he said, inching away from her, trying to get her to back-off in the nicest way possible. She finally got the hint and went to stand by her husband’s side.
“Savannah,” Kevin Sr said, nodded toward her, acknowledging her presence.
“Oh! Savannah. Hello,” Denise said, caught off guard, her eyes wide and feral.
The sneer in her voice was not lost on her. Savannah could see exactly what this woman thought of her – the girl who cheated on her golden child with another one of her sons. The fact that she was standing in her home, breathing the same air as her, looked as though it was making her physically ill. Her lips curled into a look of disgust, although it was obvious that she was trying to hide it for Joe’s sake.
“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Jonas,” Savannah replied politely to both of them.
“What brings you here, dear?” Denise asked, but her tone read more as ‘why in God’s name are you in my house, you harlot?’
“Dad, Mom – Savannah and I are together. We’re seeing each other,” Joe laid it out for them as he once again grabbed her hand in his. Denise’s eyes snapped down, witnessing the show of affection as her mouth dropped open in pure shock.
“You’re seeing each other?” She gasped, looking back up at Joe.
“Yes. We’re dating. We’re in a relationship. We’re together,” Joe said, over-explaining it to get the point across.
Denise’s reaction was priceless and somewhat appalling. She pursed her lips tightly, lifting her eyebrows as high into the air as they could go, looking as if she just fully ingested a mouthful of the sourest lemon juice known to man. Savannah almost let out a chuckle, but decided it would only make things disastrously worse.
“Oh. Welcome, Savannah,” she uttered, feigning civility. Read: “You will never be welcome in my home.”
“Thank you,” Savannah said quietly, feeling more than a little awkward.
“Have you gotten the chance to see Nick and Erica’s beautiful baby girl?” Denise asked her with a tight smile on her lips.
“Uh…” Savannah stammered, completely speechless.
Savannah didn’t even know they had a girl, let alone had the ‘chance’ to see her. Wait, did she just ask her that? Really? It definitely seemed a bit malicious, given the circumstances. It was as if she just screamed Team Nick at the top of her lungs in the pettiest way possible. It sure as hell would have earned the same dead-faced response from Savannah if she did.
“Mom!” Joe snapped sharply at her.
“What?” She gasped wide-eyed, looking at her middle son.
“A little insensitive, don’t you think?” Joe snapped, annoyance thick in his tone. Denise huffed to herself, retreating away from the two of them.
“I’ll just… I’ll just go make up the guest bedroom,” she stammered, looking as if she was going to cry, before making a beeline for the stairs. She took them two-by-two before disappearing completely out of sight. Joe sighed next to Savannah, giving her a look of apology.
“You’re going to have to give her a break, son. This is a lot to take in – you just blurting out something that big. I mean—” His dad said in a warning tone.
“Blurting it out? When would you have liked me to do it? As we’re sitting down to dinner? I think there would be a few questions in the meantime,” Joe said sarcastically.
“A phone call might have been nice. You could have given us time to prepare…” Kevin Sr continued.
“Prepare for what? Savannah’s not the god damn anti-Christ,” Joe said, getting heated in a matter of seconds.
“Joe,” Savannah breathed, tugging on his hand, trying to reign in his temper.
“Joe, that’s not what he was saying,” Kevin chimed in, defending their father.
“I’m just… ughhh. You wonder why I haven’t visited in a year,” Joe grumbled under his breath.
“Joe, I don’t want to argue. This is supposed to be a happy time. I am sure glad you’re here now. And Savannah, you are more than welcome,” Kevin Sr told her. She could tell he wasn’t entirely happy about their relationship, but he did a much better job at hiding it then the ever-so emotional matriarch of the family.
“Thank you,” she told him, giving a small nod as she stood by Joe.
“Yeah, thanks,” Joe grumbled, still acting a little bitter about the situation.
“Go, go. Get settled. Your mother and Danielle almost have dinner prepared,” Kevin told them.
“Yeah,” Joe said, grabbing for their suitcases.
“Come on, babe,” he added as he started to make his way up the stairs. Savannah followed fast at his tail, not wanting to leave his side for a second. He was her only true ally.
Denise was just finishing tidying the guest bedroom when they made their way up. It was the same room Savannah occupied a year ago, the last time she was there. She was more than a little sure the room was already ready prior to their arrival, but if there was one thing Savannah knew about Denise Jonas, it was that she was an entertainer. If she was having a guest over, not one thing would be out of place inside her domain.
“Oh. Um, I’ll let you get settled. Joe, could I have a word, please,” Denise spoke quickly as she dashed out of the room, doing her best not to make eye contact with Savannah.
Savannah looked at Joe worriedly, feeling completely wrong about the whole situation. She was regretting the decision to ever come there with him. But she knew it wasn’t even a choice, because she would do anything for him.
“It’ll be okay,” Joe said quietly, giving her a quick kiss on the forehead before he obediently followed his mother out of the room after placing her suitcase next to the bed.
Savannah stood there dumbfounded, feeling abandoned. She stood in the middle of the spacious bedroom looking around, feeling lost in her own skin without Joe by her side. When she heard their quiet voices from down the hallway, it made her rather curious as to what Denise needed to talk to him about, so she walked toward the open door and eavesdropped a bit.
“Your behavior is a little out of line, Mom,” she heard Joe say and it made her happy inside that he was defending her to one of the most important women in his life.
“Why would you bring her here though, Joe?” She heard Denise reply.
“Because she is my girlfriend,” Joe’s voice was strong and deep, sounding offended and defensive.
“Nick is here. And Erica and the baby,” Denise said, like it was a valid excuse for her reaction.
Savannah’s skin crawled at the thought of spending even a second in the same room as the woman Nick knocked-up when he was still seeing her. But she knew it would be nearly impossible to avoid her since they were under the same roof – no matter how huge the roof was.
“Who cares?” Joe shot at her.
“Don’t you think it will be a little awkward, to say the least, for Erica… and Savannah?” She asked, throwing her name in as an afterthought.
“Okay, wait a second. How did Savannah become the bad person here when Nick was cheating on her behind her back too? Erica is only with Nick because he got her pregnant!” Joe bellowed loudly, letting his temper flare up again.
“Erica is a nice girl!” Denise said, defending the hussy.
“You were saying the same thing about Savannah a year ago, Mom!” Joe argued with her.
“Joe…” She breathed out so hushed that Savannah barely heard her.
“No! You’re being a hypocrite! I love Savannah—” Joe said, still defending her, making her heart swell.
“Love?” Denise scoffed in her sneering tone.
“Yes. I love her. And I would appreciate it if you would make it a point not to make her feel like an abomination while we’re here. Or we will be on the next flight back to California. And that’s a promise!” Joe told her firmly.
“Joe—okay, okay. I-I will try my best,” Denise conceded quietly.
“It’s just not fair. Savannah was in Erica’s same position a year ago, but now you’re fawning all over Erica and being belittling toward Savannah. I don’t understand how you can be so ignorant about the roles they both played,” Joe said, his tone now lighter with her.
“Joe, I said I would try my best,” Denise said, sharp-tongued and annoyed.
“Thank you,” he said with a sigh.
Savannah dipped back into the guest bedroom right before Denise left Joe’s room. She watched as she walked past the guest room, completely ignoring her. Savannah liked her so much better a year ago.
Seconds later, Joe turned the corner into the guest room in a huff, looking frazzled from the conversation he just had.
“Sometimes that woman… gahhh,” Joe grumbled about his stubborn mother.
“I’m sorry,” Savannah said faintly.
“No, no. Baby, it’s not your fault,” Joe said, grabbing her hands in his, looking her in the eyes. Savannah looked up at him with a saddened expression.
“They need to learn how to accept this – us. It’s you and me, baby. I love you so much,” he told her, trying to sound more optimistic than she knew he was feeling in the moment.
“I love you too,” she replied before his lips were on hers for the first time since they set foot in this disapproving household.
“Joe! Savannah! Dinner!” Kevin bellowed up the staircase, breaking them out of their revelry. Joe pulled away, rolling his eyes at his brother’s subtlety.
“Are you ready for this?” Joe asked her with worry in his eyes.
“As ready as I’ll ever be,” she told him as she took a deep breath and let it out harshly.
Joe grabbed Savannah’s hand and led her down the stairs to her doom – dealt by the hands of his awaiting family.
Well, here's the first chapter of the sequel to Naughty & Nice. I think there might be a third one after this one - but I'm not sure. I've never done a trilogy. Eeep.
Anyway, let me know what you think so for. Denise is kind of a monster in it and I kind of like writing her that way. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I've always gotten a stuck-up I'm-better-than-everyone-else and no-one-will-ever-be-good-enough-for-my-sons vibe from her. Ahhh. My Jonas card is going to be revoked for dissing their mama. Don't hate me. lol. But like, who calls their grandma GLAMMY? I get major second-hand embarrassment from it. Jeez - okay, rant over. Don't mind me. I'll just go sit in the corner and be a hater all on my own. Bye.
Walking into the dining room, all eyes were on Joe and Savannah. She felt like a pariah already, because most of the looks weren’t pleasant – especially from Nick, who glared at the two of them with a raging look of disgust on his face. He was holding his now three-month-old daughter in his arms, but quickly passed her off to the hussy on his left. The sting of bitterness Savannah felt to see him with his daughter resonated within her, because only a short year ago, she imagined him being the father of her own children someday.
She and Joe quietly made their way to the table to sit down in two of the empty seats at the end. She couldn’t even look up at the people around them because she just felt so out of place.
“Savannah, hi!” She heard Kevin’s wife Danielle greet her, which caught her completely off guard.
“Hi!” Savannah said, finally looking up to see the beautiful brunette smiling excitedly at her. Savannah was so grateful to her for breaking the tension and couldn’t help when her own smile broke free on her face.
Tentatively, Savannah looked up at Nick, who seemed to be shooting daggers with his eyes at his sister-in-law.
“It’s so good to see you again. You look amazing!” Danielle praised her, making Savannah feel good and uncomfortable at the same time.
“Me? What about you, hot mama?” Savannah laughed, still unable to break the smile off her face.
“Oh, yeah right!” Danielle said, waving her compliment off with a sly grin on her face. Savannah couldn’t help but chuckle at her bashfulness.
“You have to meet Alena!” Danielle said, throwing her hands up in celebration.
“I can’t wait,” she said as she stood up to grab her daughter from her husband.
“Wait a second. Uncle Joe gets to meet her first!” Joe protested as Danielle made her way back to them with Alena in her arms. Joe stood up quickly to grab for his niece.
“Well, here you go, Uncle Joe,” Danielle said, smiling as she handed off the precious baby to her awaiting uncle.
“Oh, wowey. You are just getting to be such a big girl, now aren’t you?” Joe cooed at Alena as he grabbed her tiny little hand and bounced it around.
“I always tell her about her Uncle Joe. She was starting to believe you didn’t exist,” Kevin joked to his brother.
“Oh, I exist. And you know what, Alena? Outta all your uncles, I’m the best. You’re gonna learn that fast,” Joe cooed, smiling at the baby. Nick immediately let out a scoff that seemed to echo through the dining room. Joe only looked up to send Nick a glare before his focus went back to his niece.
“Alright. Dinner is served,” Denise said as she came from the kitchen carrying a massive tray of lasagna.
“It looks wonderful, darling,” Kevin Sr said, smiling at his wife.
“Sit, sit. We’ve got a lot of food to eat,” Denise told Joe, Kevin and Danielle.
“I’m meeting my niece for the first time,” Joe said, ignoring his mother’s request.
“And what about your other niece?” Denise chimed in, which earned a glare from Joe and an uncomfortable cough from Nick.
Everything got awkward in a matter of seconds. The tension between the two brothers was all Savannah could feel because she was right dead center in the middle of it.
“Alena is sitting with me,” Joe told Danielle and Kevin as he pulled the highchair next to his chair, then put the baby in before finally taking his seat.
“Okay,” Kevin laughed.
“Does Savannah even get to meet her?” Danielle giggled at Joe.
“Well, where are my manners, huh? Miss Alena, this is your Auntie Savannah—” Joe cooed, pointing at Savannah next to him.
Nick gave another uncomfortable cough and Joe looked up to glare at him again.
“Do you have something to say?” Joe snapped at Nick.
“Nope,” Nick said shortly, which caused Joe to scoff and shake his head.
“Anyway, this is your Auntie Savannah. She’s pretty great. Just like you,” Joe continued to talk to his niece.
“Hi, little one,” Savannah said, smiling at Alena, reaching over Joe to grab her hand, bouncing it a couple of times, which earned a squeal of excitement out of her.
“Oh, are you funny? Huh?” Joe cooed at the baby.
“She’s getting into that really playful stage. It’s been so much fun,” Kevin said, chuckling at his daughter.
“I’m so glad I get to finally meet her,” Joe said, looking up at his brother.
“I’m glad too,” Kevin replied, smiling back at him.
“Isn’t she just the most beautiful little baby ever?” Joe asked Savannah. Nick scoffed, but Joe ignored him this time.
“She is,” Savannah said, smiling at him.
Savannah couldn’t help but think his comment was a dig at Nick and his child. She was certain Joe was determined to make the tension even thicker between them. And he was doing a really fucking good job at it.
Throughout dinner Joe cooed and baby-talked with Alena, who immediately started giggling at her silly uncle. It was so sweet to see Joe with her. It made Savannah want to bear his children someday. And something about that feeling scared the shit out of her. Sure she loved Joe, but they were still so young. Seeing Kevin and Danielle with Alena, and even Nick with his own daughter was sometimes too hard to believe.
Dinner was… interesting. Savannah got completely ignored by most of the people at the table. She only had four allies there – Joe, Josh, Danielle, and Kevin. She wasn’t quite sure about Josh’s wife Angela. They hadn’t had a chance to really get to know each other. She spent the entire dinner talking with Denise, which seemed to mean they were pretty close, so Savannah didn’t really think she was going to win any popularity contests with her.
When Alena began to get fussy, Danielle went to feed her, leaving one less person to keep her mind off the fact that the other half of the table was all against her and Joe’s relationship – including the patriarch and matriarch of the family. Joe knew she was having a hard time, and he showed his support by keeping a firm grip on her knee under the table, trying to help steady her nerves, which she thoroughly appreciated. He was letting her know he was there for her just by giving her that one loving gesture.
As they sat around the table, Savannah let herself take one good long glance at the woman Nick replaced her with – or cheated on her, then replaced her with. Her stringy blonde hair. Her overly tanned skin. Too much make-up on her sunken in face. She looked almost anorexic. Didn’t this chick just give birth three months before? But the thing that really caught Savannah’s eye was the ring on her finger. It was her ring! That asshole gave Erica the same ring he gave her! Savannah was silently fuming in her seat. How could he even do that? And he thought he would just get away with it? And what? They were getting married now? How fucking sickening.
“Oh, give her to me. I just love her!” Denise cooed over-dramatically to Erica about her granddaughter, snapping Savannah out of her hostile thoughts.
“You hear that, Ruby? Your Grammy wants to hold you,” Savannah heard Erica say.
It was the first time she heard her speak and it was annoying and overbearing. And it was the same way she felt about her presence.
“Oh, she is so precious!” Denise cooed, cradling her granddaughter in her arms.
It was extremely annoying to hear Denise’s ridiculously excessive exclamations over Nick’s bastard child. For a lady claiming to be a faithful Christian, it seemed a bit hypocritical to be okay with her son having a baby out of wedlock with his mistress who he cheated with behind his fiancées back. Gag.
By the time dinner was over, Savannah’s mood went from appeasing to detestable. She had just about all she could take from this family for the night and it was only eight-thirty.
“Joe, I just want to go to bed,” Savannah whispered to him as he sat talking with Kevin at the table once dinner was finished. He turned to her, giving her a sad look before squeezing her knee again.
“Are you sure?” He asked lowly.
“Yeah,” she answered just as quietly.
“Okay,” he said, patting her knee.
“I think we’re going to go up to bed,” Joe announced to his older brother.
“Oh. Already?” Kevin asked, looking between the two of them.
“Yeah. It’s been a long day,” Joe told him as he stood up from his chair. Savannah quickly followed suit.
“Alright. We’ll see you in the morning then,” Kevin said as he held his sleeping daughter in his arms.
“Goodnight, you two,” Danielle said, giving them a cheerful smile. As for everyone else there was no response. Including Josh, who seemed to have disappeared with Frankie somewhere.
“Goodnight,” Joe huffed to the rest of his family as he grabbed Savannah’s hand in his.
“Goodnight, son,” Kevin Sr told him, breaking away from a conversation he was having with his brother Rich and his wife Bea, who were in from Texas for the Holiday.
“You’re not going to bed already, are you?” Denise asked Joe.
“It’s been a long day,” Joe told her.
“Remember the rules, Joe,” she chimed in, giving him the eye, implying that the two of them were not allowed to share a bed together under her roof.
“How could I forget?” Joe scoffed and rolled his eyes as he tugged Savannah with him toward the foyer.
“That was not necessary,” Joe grumbled under his breath, annoyed with his mother as he led Savannah up the staircase.
Savannah stayed quiet, trailing behind him. Honestly, she just wanted to go to bed so she could cry. These people made her feel worthless – less than that actually. She was the lowest of the low to them. And Erica, fuck, she was God’s gift because she birthed a grandchild? Blah!
Joe followed Savannah into the guest bedroom as she immediately went for her suitcase, digging her pajamas out. Joe shut the door behind him so she could change.
“Do you want me to sleep in here with you anyway?” Joe asked as Savannah pulled her shirt over her head and replaced it with a tank top.
“Yeah right! That is not going to happen. What if your mom sees that? She’ll actually have a valid reason to hate me – disobeying her one rule. Psssh!” Savannah said, flopping down on the mattress after she kicked out of her jeans and put on a pair of shorts to sleep in.
“Are you really going to bed right now… this soon?” Joe asked, quirking his eyebrow at her.
“I just… my brain hurts. This has been a lot to deal with, you know,” she told him, letting out a deep breath. Joe sighed, crossing the room to sit with her on the bed.
“I’m sorry, baby,” he said, wrapping his arms around her, placing a kiss on her head.
“I do it for you, because I love you,” she told him as she cuddled into him.
“And I love you. And seriously, Van, thank you,” he said, pulling back only enough to look into her eyes before he left a sweet kiss on her lips.
“I’m here and you’re here. That’s all that matters, right?” Savannah said as she squeezed him in her arms, resting her head against his chest.
“It’s all that matters, baby girl,” he cooed, kissing the top of her head again.
“Thank you for always being here for me,” she said quietly, pulling back to look up at him.
“Always,” he said, gently placing his hands on the sides of her face before kissing her again.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay?” He questioned, giving her a suggestive smirk.
“What I want and reality are two very different things,” Savannah said, giving him a frown. Joe gave her a little smile, which she couldn’t help but return to him.
“Okay, babe. I’ll be just down the hallway if you need some smooches or snuggles,” Joe said, rubbing his nose against hers. Savannah giggled at his playful words.
“I love you, Joe,” she told him before she kissed his lips.
“I love you so much. And you’re so strong. Thank you for coming here with me. And I am really sorry about my family. I knew they would be harsh, but Jesus, my mom is really taking it to another level,” he said, rolling his eyes.
“Yeah,” Savannah said, averting her gaze, feeling extremely uneasy about it.
“Hey, look at me,” Joe said, grabbing her chin to align their vision.
“It’s you and me,” he told her for about the hundredth time that day.
“Forever,” Savannah breathed before his lips crashed into hers.
“I’ll see you in the morning, beautiful,” Joe said, reluctantly getting up off of the bed.
“Goodnight,” Savannah said, hating to see him leave.
The second the door was closed behind him, tears were stinging her eyes. Being in there without Joe made her feel so alone. And to top it all off, the treatment she got from his parents was absolutely the worst feeling ever. She had never felt so low in her life.
“Savannah…” She heard, confusing her completely.
“Hmm, what?” She mumbled, waking up out of her cathartic sleep.
“Savannah…” She heard again and felt something caressing the exposed skin on her stomach.
“What do you want?” She asked. It was dark in the room and she was so confused on what was going on.
“Wake up,” she heard a voice that was definitely not Joe’s. Instead it was his brother and her ex-fiancée Nick.
“Nick! What the hell are you doing in here?” Savannah yelped, shooting straight up in bed. She quickly gripped the blankets in her fists, pulling them up the front of her body.
“Shhhh! You’re going to wake everyone up,” Nick shushed her, sitting next to her, wearing nothing but his boxer briefs.
“What are you doing in here?” She asked him through clenched teeth, annoyance apparent in her tone.
“Savannah, I don’t think you understand—” Nick said, his eyes staring straight into hers.
“Understand what?” She scoffed, cutting him off.
“How much I miss you,” he said, reaching out to rub her arm. What the hell was going on?
“Nick!” She yelped, pulling her arm away.
Was she in the Twilight Zone – an alternative reality? This was mirroring things that happened last year, but with the opposite brother. Seriously, what the hell was going on?
Let me know what you think of the sequel so far! What do you think about the family? And about Nick showing up in her bed?
The thing about Savannah was she never cheated in her entire life. Not until these two brothers came into it, turning it upside down. She never even cheated on a test or a homework assignment in school. She lived a pretty honest life up until about a year and a half ago. And now Nick was sitting in the same bed as her, in the middle of the night, telling her things he shouldn’t be telling her, touching her in ways he shouldn’t be touching her. She was Joe’s. She was devoted to Joe. She was his brother’s girlfriend.
There was history between them, yes. But out of everything she learned from their past, she knew without a doubt that Joe was her soul mate. And he was all along, she just couldn’t see it in the beginning. A part of her even wondered if some greater power put her and Nick together so she would be led to Joe. It seemed a little backwards to her, but who was she to question fate?
“Savannah, I miss you so much,” Nick breathed, grasping both of her arms gently.
Her body tensed as she looked into his eyes. His big brown eyes used to be a solace for her, a haven of what was right and beautiful in the world. That was until she found out what kind of man he really was. She no longer saw that light in his eyes or felt that tugging in her heart for him. All she was left with was a heart filled with bitterness and ill-will toward him.
“No. Nick, you need to leave… now,” she growled in a loud whisper.
“Just relax, Savannah. I know you miss me too. I saw the way you looked at me tonight,” he said as he leaned in, advancing toward her.
She was confused. How did she look at him? Was he delusional? She let her attention slip for a split second as she tried to recall the very few moments she actually looked at him during dinner, and Nick took it as an invitation, because his lips were smashed against hers a moment later.
“Get… get the fuck off me, Nick!” Savannah yelped, probably louder than she should have as she pushed hard against his chest.
“Jesus Christ, Savannah!” Nick growled at her, getting startled by her reaction.
“You have a fucking baby, Nick. I am in love with your brother!” She told him as she wiped the back of her hand across her mouth.
“You were in love with me and that didn’t stop you from fucking him,” Nick threw at her. She shook her head, feeling like he just slapped her across the face with that one.
“You need to leave,” she told him sternly.
“Savannah…” Nick said apologetically, looking up at her with his wide brown eyes.
“Nick, if you don’t leave right now, I’m going to call Joe in here,” she said, grabbing her phone from the nightstand.
“Jesus Christ. Fine!” He grumbled, throwing his hands up in the air, his annoyance apparent in his words and his actions. He scoffed as he got out of the bed, shaking his head at her before he moved toward the bedroom door.
“Oh, hey…” Savannah said, stopping him in his tracks.
“Yeah?” He asked, turning back to look at her a little more hopefully than before.
“Nice ring on your side-bitch’s finger,” Savannah spat at him. Nick immediately sighed and hung his head shamefully, running his fingers through his hair.
“You couldn’t even buy her her own engagement ring?” She scoffed menacingly.
“I’m only marrying her because of our daughter,” Nick said quietly, looking almost lost, like his life and his decisions weren’t his own anymore.
“What?” Savannah choked out, her mood changing almost immediately.
“Are your… your parents making you?” Savannah asked him. He nodded his head, looking down at the floor rather than up at her. She felt bad for him. She truly did.
“Nick. No, you don’t have to,” Savannah gasped, feeling completely appalled that they would pressure him into doing something he obviously never wanted to do.
“What the hell do you suggest I do?” Nick snapped angrily, his eyes piercing into hers.
“Say no! This isn’t 1950!” She shot at him, sitting up on her knees on the bed.
“It’s not that easy,” Nick sighed and shook his head.
“It is that easy! Nick! You’d rather be unhappy for the rest of your life than disobey your parents?” She asked, disgusted by his circumstances.
“It’s not that easy, Savannah!” Nick said, getting upset with her. She shook her head, only thinking of how stupid and brainwashed he was by his religious values. Someone’s faith shouldn’t condemn them, it should help them flourish.
“It’s stupid, Nick,” she snapped, becoming even angrier with their parents now. Even if she and Nick weren’t on good terms anymore, once upon a time he meant everything to her, and to see him being forced to marry that woman really infuriated her.
“I know,” he huffed as he hung his head.
“I’m sorry,” she said quietly.
“Yeah,” he said, shaking his head slightly.
He stood there for a few more awkward seconds before saying goodnight and retreating out of the bedroom. Once the door was closed behind him, Savannah let out a huge sigh. That was intense.
Savannah waited a good five minutes for Nick to get back to his room before she snuck down the hallway to Joe’s room. Fuck the rules Mrs. Jonas had set in place. She just nearly got sexually attacked in her house. Savannah didn’t knock. She just slipped in and made her way through the dark room to the bed. Joe was sleeping peacefully and she didn’t want to wake him up to tell him what just happened, so she just curled up next to him and fell asleep.
The next morning she was woken up by Joe’s sweet, delicate kisses. She moaned into them and wrapped her arms around him.
“Mm, good morning,” she hummed, smiling widely as she opened her eyes to him.
“Good morning, Sweet Cheeks,” Joe said jovially, smiling down at her.
“Must you call me that?” She asked in a playful warning tone causing him to chuckle.
“But your cheeks are so sweet!” Joe said, grabbing a handful of her backside. Savannah yelped and squirmed in his arms.
“Joe, stop,” she squealed and giggled. Joe did as he was told before leaning in, leaving a kiss on her lips.
“What changed your mind about sleeping with me?” He asked, letting the smile drop off his face, looking down into her eyes.
“Are we talking about now or last year? Because last year I slept with you because you were pretty damn sexy,” she said, snuggling up to him. She was avoiding his question purposely because she did not want to talk about the real reason she was in his bed. Not yet anyway.
“And I’m not sexy now!?” He protested, feigning offense.
“You’re like, super sexy now,” she told him seductively.
“I think you’re super sexy,” Joe cooed as his lips attacked her collar bone, moving their way up her neck.
“Oh, baby,” she giggled, thoroughly enjoying his lips and mouth on her.
Surprisingly – or not surprisingly, things progressed with great haste between them. It had only been a day that they hadn’t had their hands on one another and they were acting like they hadn’t touched each other in months. Joe was rebellious by nature, so trying to get some in his parent’s house was nothing new to him.
Within seconds, Savannah’s tank top was pulled over her head and Joe’s luscious lips were suckling and teasing each of her breasts.
“Oh, Van. You have got the most amazing body,” Joe groaned against her warm flesh.
“Mmm,” she moaned, making sure she was extra quiet, knowing the last thing they needed was to be heard by anyone in the house, especially his parents.
Savannah’s hands reached down to grasp onto his butt, pulling him closer to her and Joe let out a stifled moan. Quickly, her hands snaked inside his pajama bottoms, pushing them down over the swell of his ass. Joe’s mouth moved torturously over her sensitive skin, causing her body to come to life as it tingled and purred for him.
“Baby, I need you,” she moaned breathlessly, letting herself get a little carried away.
“How much do you need me?” Joe breathed in her ear.
“Oh, god. So much. Mmm,” she moaned as Joe rocked against her.
“How much do you want me to fuck you?” Joe teased, trying to string out the torture.
“Please,” she begged mindlessly.
“Since you asked so nicely,” he replied smugly before sitting up to tug her shorts and panties down her legs. He quickly pushed his bottoms down further, but didn’t bother taking them off. A second later he was pushing inside of her, causing a low gasp to come from her.
Joe’s hips rocked back and forth rapidly, sending waves of pleasure cascading through her body. It took everything she had not to moan out loud. With every thrust into her, he hit the spot over and over. Her body was tingling with pleasure, and then all of a sudden it wasn’t, due to the knock at his bedroom door. A second later, the door swung open and they were scrambling to get under the covers.
“Fuck,” Joe hissed as he threw the blanket over both of them and looked up at his mom standing in his doorway.
“Joseph! What are you doing in my house!?” They heard Denise bellow, causing Savannah to silently retract her previous thought of, “the last thing they needed was to be heard”.
Because this was most definitely the last thing they needed.
Joe and Savannah both scrambled under the covers as Denise stood in his doorway catching them in the act, knowing that hell-fire was about to rain down upon them.
“Get dressed! Now!” Denise shouted before slamming the door shut behind her.
“Holy fuck,” Joe grumbled, raking his hands through his hair.
“Oh my god,” Savannah breathed quietly.
“I guess I don’t even get the courtesy of a knock anymore,” Joe scoffed.
Savannah felt like she was going to throw up. It was the third time she had sex in this house, but it was the first time she ever got caught – and it just had to be Denise. Savannah would rather it be anyone else – anyone else. Even Joe’s dad would have been better. Or Nick for God’s sake. Why did it have to be her? She was the most judgmental woman Savannah had ever met, and Savannah knew it was going to be held over her head for the rest of time. She could end up marrying one of her son’s, and Denise was still going to hold it over her – she just knew it.
Joe dressed with the quickness as Savannah lay frozen in his bed feeling absolutely sick to her stomach. She couldn’t think. She couldn’t move. She couldn’t function. She was in a state of shock.
“I want to go home,” Savannah said quietly, her face blank, her body tingling with fear.
“Van, baby. I am sorry that just happened. But we’re adults, okay. What can she do to us?” Joe said, immediately coming to her side on the bed. Tears were welling in her eyes just thinking about their terrible situation.
“They’re never going to forgive me. First everything with Nick, and now I’m having sex with you in their house,” Savannah said as the tears rolled down her face.
“It’s going to be okay. I will make this better, I promise,” Joe said, wiping her tears from her cheeks with the pads of his thumbs.
“I don’t see how you can,” she told him, feeling overly detached.
“I will make this right, I promise,” he tried to assure her, but she knew he wouldn’t be able to, even with his best effort.
“Van, please—get dressed,” Joe told her as he tossed her clothes onto the bed, but she didn’t move.
She couldn’t help but lay there thinking about everything. About how just a year ago, she was in his parent’s good graces when she was dating and getting proposed to by Nick. But through all of that, she was sleeping with Joe behind everyone’s back. She cheated on Nick and she knew they held it against her, especially because it was with another one of their sons. She cheated on Denise’s golden child, and it didn’t matter that Nick cheated on her too. She was so much worse because she was sleeping with his brother. She was the harlot.
But she fell in love with Joe. She couldn’t help it. At first there was so much guilt in her because she didn’t even like him – it was just his sex that kept bringing her back to him. But over time they fell in love, and still even now, Savannah was so in love with Joe and it didn’t matter to the Jonas’. It didn’t matter that they were happy with each other, because she broke Nick in the process.
Savannah looked up to see Joe zip up the black hoodie he just put on over his grey t-shirt. Whenever she looked at him all she could do was admire the man he morphed into before her very eyes. After everything they went through, Joe changed the most out of both of them. He was nothing like the immature boy she met nearly two years before. He was so good to her, such a good boyfriend. He would face the wrath of his mother for her – and he did already. He was so amazing. And she knew she might not deserve him.
“Nick came to my room last night,” Savannah blurted as she finally sat up in the bed. She was unable to hold it in anymore. She had to tell him the truth. She didn’t want there to be any secrets between them.
“What?” Joe choked out, his head snapping immediately to look at her with fiery eyes, waiting for swift elaboration.
“He woke me up,” she said quietly, unable to look Joe in the eyes. She leaned against the headboard with her legs up and her arms wrapped around them staring at his bed sheets.
“What… what happened?” Joe demanded.
“He told me he missed me and then… then he kissed me,” she confessed, feeling sick to her stomach.
“He what!?” Joe bellowed with his fists gripped tightly at his sides, his knuckles white. Savannah looked up at him to see his face turn bright red and she knew he was about to explode.
“I pushed him off of me. I told him to get out,” Savannah said quickly, trying to assure Joe as she let her legs slid out from the grasp her arms had on them.
“That asshole! Oh my god!” Joe growled, looking angrier than she ever seen him before.
“Joe, it’s okay. I handled it,” she told him as she got on her knees, pulling the blankets up against her naked body.
“He has a fucking death wish!” Joe snapped as his anger boiled over, and Savannah watching him stomp to his door and throw it open.
“Joe, don’t! Joe, just leave it alone,” Savannah shouted, scrambling up from his mattress, tugging his blankets along with her. But Joe was out the door within seconds before she could even reach him.
“Shit,” she grumbled under her breath as she, as fast as physically possible, threw her pajamas on.
“Nick!” She heard Joe bellow down the hallway and it made her blood run cold. This was not going to be pretty.
Savannah made her way out of the bedroom just in time to see Nick come out of the bathroom, furrowing his eyebrows in question at Joe, who was stalking toward him.
“What?” Nick snapped back at him with pent up attitude in his reply.
Without warning, Joe stalked up to him, pulling back his fist before hitting him square in the cheek. Nick fell backwards onto the tiled floor of the bathroom with a loud thud, completely blindsided.
“What the fuck!?” Nick screamed before getting up quickly, charging at Joe, smashing him into the opposing wall, luckily not taking out the drywall with them.
“Stop it! Oh my god! Stop it!” Savannah screamed at the two of them.
“Fuck you, you fucking piece of shit!” Joe yelled at Nick as they dropped down onto the floor and wrestled violently in the middle of the hallway.
“Fuck you!” Nick yelled back, hitting Joe as hard as he could repeatedly in the back with his fist.
“STOP IT!” Savannah screamed, trying to pry the two of them apart without getting taken out by one of them.
“You have your own girlfriend! Why are you trying to get with mine!?” Joe yelled as he got the upperhand and began punching Nick in his side, their bodies violently tangled with each other.
“She was mine first, you fucking prick!” Nick screamed loudly, his face red and aggravated.
“What the hell is going on in here!?” Kevin Sr barked loudly as he came down the hallway. Denise wasn’t far behind with a ghastly look on her face.
At the sound of their father’s burly voice, the two of them split apart. Both of them were red in the face and panting heavily as they scrambled to their feet. Tears welled in Savannah’s eyes from the stressful event and she couldn’t hold them back as she stood against the wall watching everything play out.
“What are you two doing!?” Kevin Sr erupted. Nick and Joe stood there, silently glaring at each other as their chests heaved with their heightened heart rates.
“This is unacceptable! You two have been fighting over her for a year now! I want this to stop right now!” Denise cried, throwing Savannah into the mix like a disgusted slur.
“God damn it. Stop talking about her like that!” Joe yelled at his mother quickly.
“Joe!” Kevin Sr snapped, sending him a verbal warning.
“This is fucking bullshit! She is my girlfriend! I love her! And you people disgust me with the way you’ve been treating her! She is a beautiful person, okay! And God, I can’t believe the way you fawn all over that hoe-bag Nick knocked up! What the hell is that?” Joe yelled at his parents. Nick didn’t even make a move to defend his baby mama and Savannah knew it was because he didn’t care to.
“Joe, you better watch that tone,” Kevin Sr snapped, warning him again.
“Dad, I love you, but if things don’t change around here, don’t expect to see me show my face for another year, if ever again,” Joe snapped, giving him an ultimatum, shaking his head with a look of disappointment. Savannah felt sick over everything. She wanted to crawl into a hole and die.
“Joe,” Denise gasped, holding her hand over her heart.
Joe kept steady, staring down the hall at his parents, showing him he meant what he said. They all stood there in silence for a few moments before Kevin Sr sighed, looking down at the floor.
“You’re right, Joe. You’re absolutely right. I’m sorry,” Savannah heard Denise say, and she almost lost her mind. She was admitting defeat?
“For which part?” He spat at her.
“Savannah, I’m sorry for the way we – the way I have been treating you. You deserve a little more respect than that,” Denise said, looking at her dead in the face.
Savannah’s eyes were wide with surprise, yet she couldn’t help but feel like she was just saying it to appease Joe so he wouldn’t disappear from their lives again.
“Thank you,” Savannah said quietly, bowing her head.
“We will do our best to make sure you feel welcomed in our home,” Kevin Sr added.
“Thank you,” Savannah said again, still unable to look up at them.
Breaking them out of the tense moment, Frankie walked up the stairs and looked oddly at Joe and Nick.
“Whoa, what happened to you guys?” She said with a smirk on his face.
Nick finally made a move and stalked into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. And Joe grabbed Savannah by the hand, pulling her to his room.
“Door open, Joe,” Denise warned, causing Joe to roll his eyes.
“I can get a hotel,” he snapped back at her as he gripped onto the door and slammed it shut behind them.
“I’m a grown man and she still wants me to have my door open to prevent me from being sexual with my girlfriend,” Joe scoffed loudly. Savannah could still feel the anger radiating off of him, and it pained her.
She sat down on his bed, feeling shittier than she did the night before. She knew there was no hope, ever, that Denise and Kevin Sr were going to accept her now. She was the whore who cheated on Nick with his brother for months. Now she was the slut who was just caught having sex in their house, breaking Joe’s mother’s one rule. And to top it all off, she was the reason Joe and Nick got into a fist fight in the hallway of their home. There was no digging herself out of this. Not in a million years.
“They don’t understand,” Savannah said as she began crying into her hands.
“They don’t understand what?” Joe asked, sitting down next to her as he rubbed her back with his hand in a soothing rhythm.
“They don’t understand how much I love you. How much you mean to me,” she cried, feeling absolutely helpless.
“Oh, baby,” Joe cooed, wrapping his arms around her, pulling her tightly against his chest, leaving a kiss on her temple.
“They don’t understand that we fell in love last year and that’s why things didn’t work out with Nick. It’s because I couldn’t love Nick anymore, not after you came along. I didn’t have anything left to give him because I wanted to give all my love to you. They don’t know this is real,” she wept into Joe’s hoodie.
“No one knows what happened except you and me, baby. And I still love you more than anyone ever could. Bring them on. I’m not scared. Our love is real, Van,” Joe assured her as he tipped her chin up so their eyes met.
“I love you so much,” she choked out as Joe’s lips came down to kiss hers.
He held her as she cried and he still held her even when her tears subsided. They just quietly laid in his bed together, holding one another.
Two more days. Only two more days and they were out of this mess.
Savannah was sure from that point on that she wouldn’t be leaving Joe’s bedroom – not until Christmas dinner that night at least. She was not leaving his bed or his arms – rules be damned. Joe’s room was peaceful and away from the people who hated her so much.
Simple, safe, and quiet. She’d be there for a while.
Are you enjoying the drama? There's plenty more to come.
Let me know what you think! :)
A few hours later as Joe and Savannah cuddled in his bed watching TV, there was a knock at his door. She looked at him with wide-eyes as he told whoever it was that they could come in. Savannah sat up a little straighter in the bed, making sure it didn’t look like the two of them were being sexual in any way. They were both relieved to see Frankie when the door opened instead of anyone else.
“I brought you something,” Frankie said to Joe, holding out a DVD case.
“What is it?” Joe asked curiously.
“A Christmas Carol. It’s a tradition, and you guys weren’t able to watch it with us last night, so I figured you’d want to watch it today,” Frankie said sweetly. Savannah’s heart nearly exploded and she almost jumped out of bed to wrap him up in a massive hug.
“Thanks, Frank,” Joe said, smiling sweetly at his youngest brother.
“Yes, thank you,” Savannah told him, unable to hold back the wide smile on her face.
“I’m sorry that things are so tense for you two,” Frankie added in.
“Thanks, buddy,” Joe told him.
“Nick should be just as much to blame and it’s kind of bonkers that they like that Erica woman. Like, who the hell is she?” Frankie said, rolling his eyes.
Savannah let out a snort and Joe turned to smile at him. Frankie was only twelve, but he seemed to be wise beyond his years.
“I can tell you two are happy together,” Frankie added in.
“We really are,” Joe told him with a wide smile.
“I’m happy if you’re happy, Joe,” Frankie said sweetly.
“Come here, buddy,” Joe said as he scrambled to his knees on the bed, holding his arms out for him. Frankie immediately came over and let Joe wrap him up in a hug.
“Thanks, Frank,” he cooed.
“You’re welcome,” Frankie replied.
“I love you, you know that?” Joe told him as they pulled back from their embrace.
“I love you too,” Frankie told him, and Savannah couldn’t help but smile at the two of them. It was endearing as heck.
“Thanks again, Frank,” Joe told him, picking up the DVD from the bed.
“Yes, thank you, Frankie,” Savannah chimed in.
“You’re welcome,” he said, waving at the two of them before he stepped out of the room, closing the door behind him.
“Do you want to watch it?” Joe asked Savannah with a quirk of his eyebrow as he got out of the bed.
“Yes,” Savannah said, sending him a smile.
Joe slipped the disc into his DVD player and crawled back in bed with Savannah. The two of them enjoyed the movie in peace before they had to get ready for Christmas dinner. Guests could already be heard downstairs talking and laughing by the time Savannah slipped into her red Christmas dress. She was getting incredibly nervous because she hadn’t seen Joe’s extended family since the year before when she first met them – when she was on Nick’s arm.
Joe and Savannah walked down together to greet the family. Most of them didn’t even know she and Joe were together. Some of them didn’t even know what happened between her, Joe, and Nick. And a select few didn’t have a clue that she and Nick weren’t even together anymore. It was awkward to say the least.
“Oh, darling. You’re looking absolutely wonderful after having the baby. Where is she by the way? And where’s Nicholas? You two are so darling together. I am still waiting to get my wedding invitation in the mail,” Nick and Joe’s great-grandma said, taking Savannah by the hands. Savannah was stunned speechless as she looked back at the dear woman.
“Gran, no…” Joe said, trying to protest, but she already wrapped Savannah into a tight hug.
“Oh, there he is! Your husband-to-be,” Gran said, releasing Savannah from her grip. The three of them turned to see Nick walking toward them. His cheek had a large gash on it and his eye was swollen red.
“Nicholas, love, I was just talking to your bride-to-be! Now, where is that baby of yours?” Gran asked, holding onto Savannah’s hand.
“Oh, Gran, no,” Nick said, shaking his head as his eyes darted to Savannah’s and then back to his great-grandmother’s.
“No, what?” She asked, her brow furrowed as she looked between Savannah and Nick.
“Savannah and I aren’t together anymore,” Nick told her as sweetly as possible while Joe and Savannah stood there looking as dumbfounded as their Gran was feeling.
“What do you mean?” She asked as concern washed over her.
“Savannah and I don’t see each other anymore,” he tried to explain again.
“But, what about the wedding? What about the baby?” She asked, looking terribly saddened.
“I have a new fiancée, Gran. And she is the mother of my baby,” Nick said, looking rather uncomfortable.
“What?” Gran asked, not comprehending what her great-grandson was telling her, her eyes darting between the two of them.
“And Savannah is with Joe now,” Nick tacked on with spite in his voice.
“What?” She asked again, looking between Savannah and Joe. She looked so confused and Savannah felt so bad for her.
“Oh, I will never understand you kids,” she said, waving her hands in front of her before sauntering off toward the kitchen.
“Oh my god,” Savannah said under her breath.
“That was brutal,” Joe said, looking over at her. Nick gave them both a loathsome look before walking off himself.
Dinner was harrowing. Their great-grandmother decided she felt the need to talk at excruciating decibels about how Nick and Savannah broke off their engagement and how Joe swooped right in to save the day. There was a lot of hushed chitter-chatter as eyes bore into the three of them. Savannah was wishing she could sink into her chair and never be seen again by anyone in their family. Denise seemed to be thinking the same thing and was downing glass after glass of Chardonnay to make the dinner tolerable.
Savannah was surprised with her, however. She was making an effort toward her. She even smiled at her a few times during dinner – genuine smiles. Savannah almost felt comfortable for a few seconds during the most agonizing Christmas dinner she’d ever been a part of.
After dinner, per tradition, the family exchanged gifts with one another. Joe and Savannah sat in the corner away from everyone else – the same corner Joe pouted in last Christmas when she and Nick were being fawned all over because of their engagement. This year was all about the two grandbabies – the blessings. Looking at Nick’s face, Savannah knew his daughter was neither a blessing, nor a curse. She could tell he loved her – he was a great father. But she knew he didn’t love Erica and he was stuck, because he didn’t want to disappoint his family any further than he already did. She couldn’t help but feel for him.
Kevin and Danielle decided to stay the night at the house after much persistence from Denise, wanting both of her grandbabies there early Christmas morning. Savannah was excited because it meant she would have two more people in the house that actually enjoyed her company.
Everyone went to bed early, except Kevin, Danielle, Frankie, Joe, and Savannah. The five of them stayed up talking in the living room as the lights on the Christmas tree twinkled brightly. It was the most fun Savannah had since she arrived. And around midnight, Kevin decided it would be a good idea to raid the fridge for leftovers. So the five of them sat around the kitchen table eating turkey sandwiches, joking and laughing with one another. Kevin and Savannah still got along extremely well. And Savannah absolutely loved Frankie, who had just as big of a heart as his brothers. And then there was Danielle. She really liked Danielle, and when she went on a rant about Nick’s baby mama, Savannah knew she always would.
“You are just so much better than her!” Danielle giggled, having had a few too many glasses of wine that evening. Joe let out a laugh listening to his sister-in-law.
“She’s… she’s just awful,” Danielle went on, causing the rest of them to laugh.
“She has no personality,” Kevin added and they all immediately agreed.
“She always wears shirts that make her boobs look like they’re going to fall out,” Frankie chimed in, which caused Joe to nearly choke on the sip of beer he just took. All of them were thrown into a fit of laughter.
“What? It’s true,” Frankie said through a laugh.
“You’re twelve. Stop looking at her boobs,” Kevin laughed.
“Kinda hard not to,” Frankie said a moment later, and they were all laughing again.
“Oh my god. My stomach hurts,” Savannah groaned as her laughter died off. Her stomach muscles were burning from all the laughing.
“Mine too,” Danielle giggled.
“You know, I’d have to agree with Dani, Savannah. You are much better. I can’t imagine us sitting around the table like this with Erica,” Kevin snickered under his breath.
“Thank you. Now, I just wished your mother saw what you see in me,” Savannah told him with a laugh, shoving a piece of turkey into her mouth as they sat around the kitchen table together.
“She’ll come around. She just needs time,” Kevin assured her with a sympathetic look.
“I hope so,” Savannah sighed.
“It didn’t help that she caught you two have sex this morning, or that Joe beat the shit outta Nick in the hallway,” Kevin snickered, chiming in with his two-cents.
“Oh my god,” Frankie snickered and Kevin laughed when he remembered his twelve-year-old brother was in their presence and probably shouldn’t have been privy to that bit of information.
“That son-of-a-bitch deserved worse,” Joe grumbled under his breath as he took another sip of his beer.
“He’s your little brother, Joe. You used to be best friends. You guys have been through so much together growing up, and between the band… and well, Savannah—” Kevin said, laughing at his own joke.
“Yeah, he snuck into Van’s room last night and tried to fuck her,” Joe explained to Kevin.
“Jesus, Joe,” Kevin said, looking over at Frankie again, who’s eyes went wide with Joe’s vulgar words.
“Uh—” Savannah tried to interject, because she never said Nick tried to fuck her.
“Did he really?” Kevin asked, looking between the two of them. Savannah bit her lip trying not to make eye contact with anyone.
“Yes,” Joe snapped and Savannah shook her head slightly, because it didn’t really play out the dramatic way Joe was making it out to be.
“Why would—I mean, he… he’s with Erica. Why would he—” Kevin stammered, trying to make sense of it.
“I don’t know it’s bullshit. She’s my girlfriend,” Joe grumbled under his breath.
“Well, to be fair, you did steal her from him,” Kevin chimed in and it made Savannah uncomfortable that they were talking about her like she wasn’t even there.
“I don’t give a shit. He was cheating on her the whole time!” Joe spat, and Savannah could tell he was getting truly angry.
“Stop it,” Savannah said quietly, feeling like her mind was reeling out of control. Joe’s eyes snapped to hers, and she looked back at him.
“Please, stop talking about me like I’m not even here. I am with you, Joe. I am not with, or will ever be with Nick again,” she told him, hoping with her words the conversation would be dropped.
“Alright,” Joe sighed, giving her a small head nod.
After a few tension-filled moments of silence, a very sleepy Nick Jonas walked into the kitchen wearing a t-shirt and pajama pants, his eyes squinting to adjust to the light. His timing couldn’t have been worse. Savannah’s eyes went wide as she looked up at the person they were just talking candidly about.
“What are you all doing up?” Nick croaked, furrowing his eyebrows at them.
“We haven’t gone to bed, brother. Merry Christmas!” Kevin said loudly, obviously trying to cover the fact that he was just the name on their tongues.
Nick waved unenthusiastically before sauntering to the refrigerator to retrieve a bottle of water. A moment later, he took a seat at the kitchen table, which was next to Savannah and it made her incredibly uncomfortable. Kevin started gabbing about how amazing this Christmas was going to be because it was the first year with grandbabies, and Savannah was sure he was rambling to make the situation less awkward, but in reality he made it even more awkward. Savannah looked over at Joe, seeing his jaw set, refusing to even look in Nick’s direction.
But somehow, Kevin got Joe into a conversation about how Kevin wanted to go to the Bahamas next year for his and Danielle’s wedding anniversary. Joe even offered to watch Alena for them if they wanted to go just the two of them, which made Savannah snicker to herself. Uncle Joe to the rescue.
Nick just sat at the table quietly as he sipped on his water. Savannah couldn’t help but watch him out of the corner of her eye. She first studied the gash on his cheek and the darkness that really became prominent under his eye where Joe punched him. He looked almost depressed as he sat there listening to Kevin talk so fondly about his wife and daughter, and it made Savannah sad for him. He looked so lonely, and just stuck in a life he never wanted for himself.
“What about a paternity test?” Savannah blurted out, talking directly to Nick. She didn’t even realize she said it until everyone’s eyes snapped to her.
“What?” Kevin asked, looking at her oddly. Savannah’s eyes were only on Nick and everyone caught on fast. Including Nick, who looked at her with questioning eyes.
“Did you ever have a paternity test done?” Savannah asked him and his confusion only amplified.
“Is the baby even really yours? I mean, you wouldn’t have to marry her if the baby wasn’t yours,” Savannah told Nick bluntly. He looked taken aback, but she knew he was contemplating her words.
“Savannah,” Joe hissed under his breath, looking over at her like she was crazy. Savannah quickly eyed him, but her vision connected with Nick’s again a moment later.
“It’s worth a try,” Savannah told Nick with a shrug of her shoulders.
“Savannah, what is going on?” Joe asked in a hushed voice. Savannah’s eyes met with Joe’s again, giving him an almost guilty look.
“Nothing,” she told him quietly.
“It doesn’t sound like nothing,” Joe said with anger in his tone. Kevin, Danielle and Frankie sat silently as the situation grew increasingly awkward.
“I promise you, it is nothing,” Savannah told him, trying to reassure him. He bit his tongue at the circumstance, but she knew he would have an opinion later when it was just the two of them alone.
“Uh, I think we’re going up to bed,” Kevin said, standing up, clearing his and Danielle’s from the table.
“Me too,” Frankie said awkwardly, standing up from his seat.
“Yeah,” Nick chimed in as his chair scraped across the floor before he stood up.
“Yeah, I’m feeling kind of tired now,” Joe said, looking straight at Savannah with his jaw clenched, obviously displeased with her.
Joe was definitely unhappy with Savannah for even being the slightest bit concerned with the paternity of her ex-lover’s baby. She sat silently at the table as the five of them cleared their things from it and made their way toward the doorway. Nick headed off first, and Kevin, Danielle and Frankie were not far behind. Joe stood at the kitchen doorway looking at Savannah as she sat staring at the table.
She felt like she was about to be taken off to the guillotine to be beheaded or something. The night was definitely not over for the two of them.
“Are you coming?” Joe asked with animosity in his tone, and she knew she was in deep.
“Yeah,” she breathed lowly as she stood from her seat, being sure to push the chair back in before she followed Joe out of the kitchen.
The two of them were silent as they walked to his room, but once the door was shut behind them and they were quietly snuggled up into his bed, he brought it back up.
“What was that, Van?” He asked with a slight wrath in his tone. Savannah sighed deeply into the pillow, feeling sick to her stomach.
“Savannah, what’s going on?” Joe scoffed, getting even more agitated with her.
“When Nick came into my room…” Savannah quietly started to explain as she looked over at him. Her words trailed off as Joe’s eyes widened, preparing himself for what he was about to hear.
“It’s nothing bad, baby. I promise,” she assured him as she sat up next to him.
“It better not be,” Joe scowled as he clenched his jaw tightly.
“It’s not. He just… he told me the only reason he is marrying Erica is because of the baby. That your parents are forcing him to,” she said, feeling the weight of what that meant.
Even though she and Nick weren’t on good terms, it didn’t mean at one point in her life he didn’t mean the world to her. Those feelings never really had a fair chance of dispelling out of her system. It was just Nick, and then all of a sudden it was Joe. There was no transitional period, and so because of that, there were still pleasant feelings for Nick that still somehow lingered inside of her.
Joe just stared blankly at her, waiting for some sort of clarification.
“Why should he have to marry her? He doesn’t love her. It’s just such a ridiculous concept. I mean, I know you guys are famous and all, but it’s not like you’re royalty and have to follow some ancient tradition. You’re young and you make mistakes,” Savannah explained, feeling like her head was spiraling as the anger started to consume her over Nick’s stupid situation.
“Why is it any of your concern what Nick does or doesn’t do?” Joe snapped at her, looking quite angry himself, but for a completely different reason.
“Because Joe, Nick used to be my friend. And I should care. You should care. Because he’s your brother and he was your best friend,” she told him, trying to get her point across.
“I don’t care. He did this to himself,” Joe said spitefully, and Savannah rolled her eyes at his stubbornness.
“It’s really making me mad that you still care about him,” Joe growled at her in a tone that backed his words.
“What do you expect? You want me to be some heartless bitch? Nick’s not a bad guy, Joe. And you know that. He’s your brother, and before I came along he was your best friend,” she reminded him, trying to help him see reason. Joe growled under his breath, and she knew she was just digging herself deeper.
“You’re just getting angrier with me with every word I say, so I’m just going to go to sleep,” she told him with a huff as she laid back down, pulling the covers up.
“Yeah. Good idea,” Joe grumbled as he tugged his shirt off of his body in a huff.
Savannah turned her back to him and felt a heavy weight settle on top of her which automatically made her want to cry. It was not how she imagined their Christmas playing out.
Savannah heard Joe as he undressed the rest of the way, continuing to grumble as he did before colliding with the mattress. Could he be any more dramatic?
Savannah tossed and turned for hours. There was a gap between the two of them on the mattress all night and it really didn’t sit right with her. It felt to her like the space between them was symbolic somehow. She really hated fighting with him.
The next morning Joe didn’t even wake Savannah up to partake in the Christmas festivities – which made her feel even more worthless and left out. She didn’t even bother getting out of bed after she woke up. She just cried silently into the pillow. What happened to ‘it’s just you and me’? She was feeling sick to her stomach because of the way Joe was making her feel, on top of how his family was treating her. She truly didn’t want to be there anymore.
At about noon, Savannah decided to brave it and venture out into the house by herself. As she was inching down the hallway, she could hear voices coming from the office, which was a few doors down from Joe’s room. She could hear Denise’s hushed voice almost immediately and it stopped her in her tracks.
“I don’t want Joe wasting his life with her. I don’t want any one of my sons wasting any time on her. And they’re fighting over her, Kevin. Physically fighting over her!” Savannah heard Denise’s voice coming from the office and she knew instantly that Denise was referring to her.
“How much more damage do you think she can do? She’s only a twenty-year-old girl, Denise. And she seems to genuinely love Joe,” Savannah heard Kevin Sr reply, and it made her ill-feelings for him slightly lessened.
“Well, she seemed to genuinely love Nick too, but you see how that turned out. Lies and deceit. I just don’t trust her. I don’t want one of my boys with her,” Denise went on to say with an attitude so strong, it made Savannah’s blood start to boil inside of her.
“And what about Erica? She and Nick – they were doing the same thing a year ago. Savannah got her heartbroken by Nick too,” Kevin Sr pointed out, and Savannah absolutely loved him in that moment for sticking up for her.
“Oh, I could care less about that gold-digging snot. I just want to be able to know my granddaughter. Oh, Kevin. How did our boys stray so far from where they’re supposed to be? Where did we go wrong?” Denise’s voice erupted with emotion as Savannah scowled from her words.
“They’re going to be just fine, darling,” Kevin Sr soothed his wife.
Savannah couldn’t listen to any more. It was making her sick. Was Denise going to do something to get Joe to leave her? Would she try to convince him she wasn’t good enough for him? She was becoming sick to her stomach with worry.
Savannah went into Joe’s room and wrapped herself up in the blankets like a cocoon. She didn’t want to think anymore. She didn’t want to feel anymore. She thought things were getting better, but she was sadly mistaken. Denise still hated her guts. The only comfort was she indeed also hated Erica’s guts. It made Savannah feel minutely better.
Savannah was lying in Joe’s bed wallowing in her misery when she heard the door open.
“Are you still sleeping?” Joe asked her quietly.
“I’ve been awake for hours,” she grumbled, keeping her back to him. He stayed silent, and it aggravated her so much.
She felt the bed move as his weight shifted onto it.
“Savannah…” Joe breathed, his voice heavy with emotion as she felt his hand rest on her arm.
“I don’t want to fight with you anymore. Things are getting better with you and my family. And I just…” Joe said quietly, trying to make amends.
“Things are not getting better with me and your family,” Savannah spat out, still not facing him. Tears welled helplessly in her eyes before slipping quietly onto the pillow.
“What are you talking about? You said yourself you were feeling better about it,” Joe reminded her and it made her scoff because he didn’t even bother to check on her all day.
He alienated her from his family that morning during their Christmas celebration. How was she ever going to redeem herself if she couldn’t even count on her boyfriend to have her back?
“Savannah, will you at least look at me?” Joe asked, pulling her toward him so she would face him. She tried to hide her tears, but he saw them and let a loud sigh out.
“Savannah, why are you crying?” Joe asked, concern in his voice as he pulled her up into his arms.
“She hates me. She still hates me,” Savannah cried into his shirt.
“Savannah, you need to stop this,” Joe said, pulling her away from his body to look her in the eye. There was annoyance written all over his face, which made her cry harder.
“What happened to the strong girl I know? Where did she go?” Joe asked in a softer tone.
“There’s only so much I can take,” Savannah breathed, feeling helpless.
“Is this how you’re going to spend your Christmas? In bed, crying?” Joe asked, letting her go completely and it made her heart break further.
“Joe…” Savannah breathed, unable to fathom why he was all of a sudden against her instead of with her.
“I’m going downstairs to spend time with my family while I’m here. If you decide you want to join us, you know where you can find me,” Joe said, getting up out of the bed. Savannah looked up at him, her mouth hung slack-jawed as she watched him move away from her.
Joe stood at the end of the bed and waited for a few moments for Savannah to say something, but she couldn’t. She was completely stunned. A moment later, he scoffed loudly to himself and left the room, letting the door shut a little too forcefully. Savannah was left there, completely in awe, fighting the bile that was rising in her throat.
So much for her ever believing he meant what he said as they stood on the front steps a few days earlier. We’re in this together. His words didn’t mean shit to her when he wasn’t backing them up with his actions.
Savannah sat in Joe’s bed, for more than a few minutes, completely stunned that he just left her there once again to rot by herself on Christmas. He didn’t even blink an eye – he just left. The anxiety and discomfort she felt inside of his family home all by herself was nearly crippling. In the beginning, she was prepared to fend off the unwanted stares and blatant disapproval by his family, but now to be fighting with Joe on top of it – she just couldn’t handle it. She couldn’t handle not having Joe as her ally. She gave up Christmas with her own family for the second year in a row, for this? It was too much.
Savannah’s heart was heavy in her chest as the tears streaked down her face, the panic swelling up inside of her. She had no idea how to handle herself in this type of situation. And adding a little salt to her already gaping wounds, her mouth began to salivate extensively, signifying the bile rising up in the back of her throat. It was the fastest she moved in hours. She was out of Joe’s bed within seconds, racing down the hallway to the bathroom. She slammed the door shut behind her as she nearly missed the toilet when the bile ejected from her throat. The overwhelming anxiety mixed with her emotions over Joe had sent her over the edge.
As Savannah sat by the toilet and cried, she knew she couldn’t stay there – not even one more day. She knew she needed to get out of there. After her stomach finally settled and her tears turned cool on her cheeks, she pulled herself up off the cold tile floor and cleaned herself up. She was done feigning politeness. She was done with this bullshit family Christmas. She was done with sideways glances and shit talked behind her back. She was just done. She really needed to get away from there, from everything, from everyone. She needed to go home. She hated just about everything about Joe’s family. And she hated the way Joe was treating her, as if she didn’t feel alienated enough. She wasn’t going to fight with Joe for the remainder of the trip, or hide away in his room like a cast-off. It was absolutely absurd to even keep on this way.
When Savannah left the bathroom, she went straight to the guest bedroom and immediately booked a flight back to California. After, she began throwing her belongings into the suitcase with no rhyme or reason – just a piled up mess of clothes and toiletries to sort out when she was back in the confines of her apartment. Her emotions were out of control. She let out a few choked sobs, trying to gather her composure to continue on with her mission, but all she could think about was Joe. Her heart was breaking just thinking about leaving him there. But she knew she had to. And she knew she had to leave while she still had the guts to, because if Joe were in front of her, he would try to stop her from leaving – whether he was upset with her or not. She wasn’t prepared for another fight. She didn’t want to fight anymore.
Savannah stalked down the hallway to Joe’s room and grabbed her things before retreating back to the guest bedroom. Once her belongings were shut tightly in her suitcase, she scheduled an Uber to pick her up.
Feeling the guilt and the heartache in her chest weighing her down, Savannah made one last trip down to Joe’s room to leave him some sort of correspondence to tell him how she felt and where she went. She cried as she opened the journal he always had with him that he used to jot down lyrics and random thoughts. Savannah’s hands were shaking as she opened it to a fresh page to leave her explanation. And with a deep breath she began to write.
My ribs are like an iron cage, trapping my heart inside like a bird fighting desperately for freedom. My feelings are hard to explain and I don’t think you will understand. You have proven that to me today. I don’t know what you want from me. Your words contradict your actions, and I don’t know which to believe. Maybe we rushed into everything too soon. Maybe it’s all too much – what we’ve been doing all along, the lies we’ve told to get us here. Maybe this is our condemnation for all the sins we’ve committed with each other. I think this needs to be over for now. I think it’s just too hard to be us in this façade you want me to live in.
I’m hurting. But in the end I’m doing it to myself. I could be completely ignorant to what’s going on around me. I choose to pay attention. I choose to be the type of person to want to help someone when they’re hurting. And I know your anger fails to see the point in the heat of the moment, but Nick is hurting right now too, and I can’t act like it doesn’t affect me – because it does. I can’t help it. I know you don’t like it. And I know you’re probably thinking things you shouldn’t about the two of us. But I want you to know this is not about Nick. None of this is about Nick. Right now it’s about you and me, and how things just aren’t working anymore.
It hurts too much to be with that one person who you love so much you think you might die if it were to ever end. That’s you to me. And honestly, it isn’t a logical way of living. It’s just not. This whole relationship has been a broken record of mistakes that will constantly replay until I turn it off. Until I end it. I hate this feeling. I feel like my heart is going to explode. I can already feel it tearing away from my body. Yes, I love you, but now it’s all falling apart and everything is crashing down on me. And the weight is too much. I can’t hold it alone. But you’ve already left me.
My chest hurts and I don’t want to deal with this anymore, so I’m leaving. I’m sorry.
Savannah couldn’t control her sobs as she wrote the letter. She didn’t sign it. She just left the journal open on his bed. Eventually he would find it when he couldn’t find her. She knew it was a cowardly way to end things, but she didn’t know how much more she could take before she broke down both physically and mentally. Life was unstable enough without all the self-sabotaging she always seemed to do. She knew she had to let go of it all.
When Savannah got the notification that her Uber was there, she grabbed her suitcase and purse from the guest bedroom before quietly making her way down the staircase, praying she could leave the house undetected. The family was nowhere in sight, although she could hear their voices in the den just a few rooms away. Hearing Joe’s voice made Savannah’s stomach clench and it caused tears to well in her eyes before she slipped out the front door like a ghost – neither seen, nor heard.
The Uber was waiting in the road as she made her way down to the gate. She wiped away her tears as she slid into the back seat, trying to keep her vision steady ahead of her. But she couldn’t help but sneak one last glance at the house as a feeling of hopefulness swelled inside of her. She hoped Joe would appear at the door and run down to her, telling her not to leave – telling her how much he loved her and that he never meant to make her feel the way he did. But as the car slowly made its way down the road, the feelings of hopefulness were replaced with bitterness and sadness. Joe didn’t sense her presence leaving him. He was oblivious that she was walking out of his life.
Savannah’s tears didn’t subside until she reached the airport and the cab driver gave her a look of pure pity as he wished her well. She didn’t need his pity though, because from then on out she decided she was going to be strong. At least until she could break down in the comfort of her own home.
It wasn’t until she was sitting in her seat on the airplane waiting for take-off that her phone buzzed in her hand. Joe’s name flashed across the screen and her stomach plummeted. She had to hold back the vomit in her throat as a wave of nausea passed through her. She silenced the ringer, but let the call complete itself until it reached voicemail. The anxiety swelled in her chest thinking about Joe reading the letter she left him. She wondered what he was doing. She wondered how it affected him. But she quickly pushed those thoughts away as she pressed play on the voicemail message he left. She took a deep breath as his voice hit her ears.
“Savannah, where the hell did you go? This isn’t funny. Call me back,” Joe’s impatient voice erupted through the receiver of her phone as she listened to the voicemail.
When the message ended, she shut her phone off and shoved it into her purse. Savannah’s heart plummeted even further hearing the animosity and annoyance in his tone. If that was how he felt toward her, then she knew she was making the right decision. He brought her into that unstable environment, and just fed her to the wolves, leaving her to fend for herself. If she didn’t have a partner in her life that would have her back no matter the circumstance, then she knew they were not the right person for her.
Even so, she knew it was going to be a hard lesson to make it through. She didn’t know how easy it was going to be to survive through anything without him by her side.
When Savannah got home to California, when she stepped foot in her apartment her world just sort of crumbled. She was finally feeling the weight of what she did. She walked out on Joe. She walked out on the man she loved.
Joe was everywhere in her apartment. From the Christmas tree he helped her decorate, to his sweater that lay across the back of her couch, to his coffee cup that still sat in the sink from the morning they left for New Jersey. His scent was still so prominent on the pillows and sheets that lined her bed. His memory was everywhere, haunting her.
And it was hard to come to terms with what happened. Only days before, they were in it together – a team. They were happy and in love. And just one trip to visit his family for the holiday’s brought them down in flames.
Savannah spent her first few hours back in California breaking down into an emotional mess. Waves of despair crashed over her as she wept into her pillow. It was the hardest decision she ever made, leaving Joe. She couldn’t shut off her mind. She couldn’t sleep. She replayed the memories of the past couple of days over and over. She tried to justify her actions to herself as she remembered Joe’s face the last time she saw him – his look of indignation, of cynicism. It resonated through her. She could remember every bad feeling she felt while she was in New Jersey – the discomfort, all of the out-of-control feelings, the burden. In the end, she knew what she did was for the best. Because it wasn’t right for his parents to treat her the way they did. And it wasn’t right for Joe to turn on her the way he did.
Savannah buried her face in her pillow and screamed as loud as she could before the overwhelming emotions flooded her, and tears dripped from her eyes once again.
After a few hours of staring at the wall, letting the tears create pools on her pillow, she felt numb. Curled into a ball, sheets wrapped around her mess of a body – a tangled wreck. She couldn’t cry anymore. She had no tears left in her. She was broken. She tried to tell herself that what she did was the best for both of them. They loved each other, but not being able to coexist with his family was just too much. There was too much against them. They had too much history – too much baggage.
And if Savannah and Nick couldn’t co-exist somehow without Joe thinking she was going to fuck him the first chance she got, then it really wasn’t going to work. She tried to reassure Joe she would never go back to Nick, that she would never even fathom doing something of that nature ever again. But she supposed he had it in the back of his mind, once a cheater always a cheater. And she only had herself to blame for that.
It was dark, but Savannah could still make out his face. He was beautiful in every sense of the word – raven hair, an exquisite body, tawny eyes which were sadly hidden beneath his eyelids as he dreamt of God-knows-what. Savannah’s eyes scanned over his body. The blankets were gently resting just above his navel. At that exact moment, she wanted nothing more than to trace her forefinger down his well-toned chest. Just to feel his soft skin.
“No, no,” he moaned. It took Savannah a few seconds to realize he was still sleeping, that he was dreaming.
“Don’t go. Please don’t leave me,” she heard him moan as his head slowly moved back and forth on the pillow.
“Joe, I’m here. I promise, I’m here. Just wake up,” she told him, shaking his agitated body.
“Savannah, please. Don’t leave me.” He was crying out now.
“Joe! Joe, I’m here,” she began crying as she tried waking the sleeping man she loved so much. Her heart was breaking all over for him.
“I’m right here!” She shrieked, shaking him more forcefully.
“Van…” He moaned.
“Wake up!” She screamed.
With a sharp breath, Savannah woke up, startled to a sitting position in her bed. Her whole body was sweating and she was panting heavily. It took her only a second to realize she was crying, like she was in her dream.
“Jesus Christ, Van!” She heard, but it wasn’t Joe’s husky masculine drawl. Savannah shot her head toward the person and saw her seventeen-year-old sister Ginny.
“That was intense!” Ginny said, holding her hand over her heart.
Savannah was dazed. She couldn’t wrap her head around what happened and why her sister was in her apartment – sitting on her bed with her.
“Wha-what are you doing here?” Savannah choked out. Her mouth was dry and she could taste bile in the back of her throat.
“I got a call from Joe,” Ginny told her with a look of sadness on her face.
“Why… why would he call you?” Savannah asked, running her fingers through her sweat dampened hair.
“Because he sat at your door for hours last night pounding, hoping you’d hear him. Because you left New Jersey without an explanation. Because he’s worried about you. And frankly so am I,” Ginny said with a hint of desperation in her voice.
She took a sleeping pill to help her sleep the night before. She supposed it worked… a little too well.
“Van, what is going on with you?” Ginny asked, sounding concerned.
A rush of emotion hit her system, thinking about Joe. She pulled her knees up to her chest as the tears began anew. She felt dehydrated, but her tear ducts were still somehow producing in significant volumes.
“Van. Oh, Van,” Ginny cooed, wrapping her arms around her.
“What happened?” Ginny asked after a few moments.
“I don’t… I don’t really want to talk about it,” Savannah told her as she wiped at her eyes, trying to regain her composure.
She didn’t want to drag her little sister into her foolish life problems. So she sucked it up, crawling out of bed before ambling to the kitchen to get a glass of water. She could barely swallow because her mouth was so dry.
As Ginny followed out of the bedroom, Savannah noticed she was texting on her phone.
“Virginia Elizabeth Blake, if you’re texting him right now, I am going to smash your phone!” Savannah threatened her. Ginny’s head shot up looking at her with wide eyes.
“I-I’m not…” She stuttered, sounding absolutely guilty.
“Ginny!” Savannah shouted, knowing she was lying.
“He’s worried about you, Van. Why did you leave?” She sighed as she sat down on a stool at the breakfast bar.
“It’s a long story,” Savannah mumbled as she filled her glass with water again.
“Van, you can tell me,” she said, looking concerned.
“Joe’s family hates me. His mother was horrendous toward me, but she was all over Nick’s tramp and their baby. She made me feel absolutely worthless. She doesn’t want me with Joe. She said she didn’t want me with any of her sons, to be honest,” Savannah said as tears began to well in her eyes again.
“She said that?” Ginny asked, horrified.
“I overheard her,” she said, wiping her tears.
“That’s… brutal,” Ginny breathed lowly.
“Yeah. So…” Savannah said quietly, trying to fend off the lingering tears.
“But… you just—Joe… you just broke up with him and left him in New Jersey? I mean, what’s that? What’s going on, Van?” Ginny asked, confused.
“He… he pretty much told me to suck it up and stop whining. One second he was on my side and the next he was treating me just like his parents were treating me. I just… I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t be there. I don’t want to be with someone who is going to treat me the way he did. He made me feel worthless,” Savannah explained as she wiped the tears that were threatening to fall.
Before Ginny could get another sentence out, there was a rapid set of knocks on the door, and Savannah’s eyes shot straight to her sister. She bit her lips together tightly, looking at her with guilty eyes and she knew it was Joe – that Ginny managed to text him after all.
“God damn it, Ginny,” Savannah grumbled as she walked around the kitchen countertop.
“He just wants to talk, Van,” she said in almost a pleading voice, like she was rooting for him.
“You shouldn’t have text him,” Savannah snapped at her as she made her way to the door, knowing full-well she wasn’t prepared to see him.
After wiping her eyes of her lingering tears, she clenched her fists tightly at her sides as she took a deep breath, trying to mentally prepare for the fight she knew they were about to have – hoping it wouldn’t be too out of control with her teenage sister in company. With another deep breath, she opened the door, her tired eyes immediately meeting with Joe’s surprised ones.
“Savannah…” He said breathlessly as he watched her. He didn’t call her ‘Van’ which didn’t sit right with her. He rarely ever called her ‘Savannah’. She figured it was symbolic of how their relationship was on its deathbed.
Savannah’s heart sputtered as she looked back at him, not knowing how she should be truly feeling with him standing in front of her.
On one hand, she wanted to fix everything and just move on. She already missed Joe so much. She missed everything about him. It just wasn’t good for either of them to miss one another that much. And she knew they both loved each other beyond any sort of reason. But on the other hand, she couldn’t see how things would work when his family was dead-set against their relationship. His mother was the president of the ‘I hate Savannah’ club. And his brother was her ex-fiancée, who recently admitted to still having feelings for her. She just couldn’t get past any of it. She tried, but failed every time. A part of her just wanted to say ‘sayonara’ and wash her hands of the whole Jonas clan in general.
Joe took in a deep breath, like he was going to unleash a long rant on her. But he just let it out as a huge sigh.
“Joe, I can’t do this anymore,” Savannah said, her voice quivering with emotion. She couldn’t look him in the eyes. She was a coward and she knew it.
“What do you mean, Savannah?” He asked, his voice demanding.
“I mean, it’s too hard. Everything, everyone is against us and I don’t have anything left in me to keep fighting. That trip took everything I had. It broke everything inside of me. And I just think it’s better this way… better to make a clean break,” she explained, choking on her tears, saying words she never wanted to say.
“How could you possibly think it would be better for us to be apart – when I’m so in love with you I can barely stand it?” Joe said, his breath catching in his throat.
“Joe…” Savannah sighed as her tears pooled in her eyes.
“Savannah, don’t do this!” Joe snapped, grabbing her by the arms, forcing her to look into his eyes.
“Joe, stop, please. You’re just making this harder,” she cried, averting her gaze away from his once again.
“I don’t care! I am not letting you go!” Joe bellowed at her. She shut her eyes tightly, squishing out the tears that lingered.
“Look at me!” He demanded. Her eyes shot open to find his intense ones.
“Van, you can’t do this. Do you hear me? We will get through this together. It’s you and me,” he said, and she noticed tears welling in his eyes. It hurt her.
“Joe, I can’t anymore. I need time. I need space,” she told him, watching his russet brown eyes glisten with tears.
Joe took another deep breath and let it out hard, loosening his grip on her arms significantly.
“I can give you time and space, Savannah, but only if I know you’re going to come back to me in the end,” he pleaded, his eyes so sad.
“Joe… this is the end,” she whispered, her words so final.
“No! No, it is not,” Joe yelled, gripping her arms tighter in his hands. Savannah squirmed in his grasp.
“Joe, you’re hurting me,” she whimpered and his hands immediately dropped away from her. Savannah took the opportunity to take a few steps back.
“I love you, Joe, but… but you need to leave. You can’t be here,” she told him.
“Savannah…” He breathed lowly, looking defeated.
“Please,” she pleaded with her voice and her eyes.
“I love you so much,” Joe said, closing the gap between them once again, slipping his hands up into her hair, cradling her head in his hands.
Savannah let out a whimper as her eyes looked up into his. He watched her for a moment and then slowly, carefully he brought his lips down to hers. She kissed him back desperately, knowing it would be their last. When he pulled away, she was breathless, and it hurt so much knowing it was the end.
“I love you and I’m not giving up, Savannah. Ever,” he breathed before taking a step back.
Savannah let out a quiet sob. His sad eyes watched her for a few moments as she tried like hell to hold in her emotions. She barely saw it, but Joe gave her a soft nod before he reluctantly turned on his heels and retreated out of her apartment.
Savannah stood there watching him leave, feeling as if her heart was being torn into shreds as he walked away. His words kept spinning through her dazed mind on a loop. I love you and I’m not giving up, Savannah. Ever.
Joe looked up at her just before the elevator door opened. He looked so dismantled and it broke her heart. Once he disappeared into the elevator, she shut her apartment door.
“Savannah Lynn Blake,” she heard her younger sister snap at her in a scolding tone. Savannah nearly jumped at the startling sound. She forgot Ginny was still there.
“Why on earth would you ever leave that man?” Ginny gasped. Savannah looked back at her and saw she had tears in her eyes.
“Gin, don’t,” Savannah said, wiping her tears as she back-tracked into the living room.
Savannah dropped down onto the couch and pulled her knees up to her chest, letting the tears continue to drain down her face.
“He loves you so much and you’re just going to break his heart like that!?” Ginny asked, standing over her.
“Just stop!” Savannah snapped at her.
“Who cares if his family doesn’t approve? Who gives a shit? His heart just broke standing here in front of both of us. It shattered!” Ginny scowled at her.
“Virginia! Stop it!” Savannah yelled at her baby sister.
“No!” She yelled back.
“You’re seventeen-years-old! Do not tell me what to do with my life!” Savannah yelled at her.
“You’re making the biggest mistake of your life,” Ginny said, collapsing on the chair next to the couch, crossing her arms over her chest in protest.
“It’s my mistake to make, okay, not yours!” Savannah warned, causing Ginny to scoff in disapproval.
Ginny spent the rest of her winter break from school with Savannah at her apartment. Not because Savannah wanted her too – because frankly she just wanted to be left alone – but because Ginny felt she needed to ‘take care’ of her. Savannah wasn’t much company though. She rarely got out of bed. She barely ate anything. And she continued to cry until she couldn’t cry anymore. And after a few days of that, Ginny decided to get their parents involved in it. It was apparently her way of ‘helping’. But it only pissed Savannah off. Her parents made Savannah go see a doctor about her so-called depression. She felt that it was completely unnecessary – that she was just feeling the effects of a break up. Couldn’t a girl mourn the loss of someone significant in her life?
At the doctor’s office, Savannah was forced to fill out a survey and answer pointless questions about her mental state. It was annoying and just made her feel worse. Once the doctor tallied – or whatever she did with the answers, she let Savannah know the results showed she could technically be diagnosed with depression. Savannah just scoffed and rolled her eyes. Savannah could have told her that from the beginning. But it wasn’t something that was chronic and she didn’t know why she needed to be there talking to someone about it.
“Before we even talk about medications, I need to ask, is there any way you could be pregnant?” The doctor asked and Savannah froze. Pregnant? Not a chance.
“No, no,” Savannah said, shaking her head.
“Are you sure? There are some drugs out there that can’t or shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy,” the doctor informed her.
“Uh…” Savannah stuttered. Her mind couldn’t even fathom it. Wouldn’t that just be the icing on the cake – being pregnant with her ex’s baby?
“Well, why don’t we just do a pregnancy test, just to be absolutely sure?” The doctor said as she began typing something in the computer – ordering the pointless test.
Pregnant? She couldn’t be.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.